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Reddit Asks the Question: 'What's Become Clear To You As You've Gotten Older?'

By Petr Knava | reddit | August 2, 2017 |

By Petr Knava | reddit | August 2, 2017 |

Despite what those bastard fidget spinners would have me think, I am not particularly old yet. Nevertheless, in near enough six months I’ll be turning thirty, and though that’s no herculean milestone, it does feel like my mind has begun to reorganise itself and my patterns of thinking have slowly, inexorably, become…different. I wouldn’t describe it as being more introspective because, shit, I’ve never had a problem with looking inwards. It feels more holistic than that. Maybe an increased awareness of one’s place in the order of things, as well as the nature of those things?

Ah, I don’t know. What do you think, Willem?


Yeah, me too, man. Reddit was feeling its age the other day, too, when it asked the question: ‘What’s Become Clear To You As You’ve Gotten Older?’ You can check out the full thread here, but here are some highlights:


Nobody pays as much attention to what you are doing or how you look as you seem to think. Look kinda bloated today? Nobody gives a shit. Forgot something in your car and has to turn around in the parking lot? Literally, zero random fucks were given.


The ease it takes to get “injured” and the length it takes to heal.


The human body is a lot more fragile than it seemed when I was a kid. I shudder at the thought of how close some childhood pranks, games, and ‘fun’ activities really went to permanently injuring myself, others, or something even worse.

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You still feel young on the inside. You look at people the same age as yourself and think ‘F**k they look old’ and then realize you are the same age!


If you can learn to come to terms with who you are and be happy with that then everything becomes easier. Basically, stop beating yourself up.

In the (probably misquoted) words of Homer Simpson “don’t keep blaming yourself, blame yourself once and move on”


You have short term friends and long term friends, and both are perfectly fine.


If you find someone you care about, do let them know.

There are not so many people in that world with whom you’ll create a real connection. Do not lose them. Whatever is your method to let them know, please do it, make sure they understand you care about them.


Friendship is a rare thing and takes WORK. You realize as the years pass and people drift that the friends who stick around are ones who have consciously or unconsciously CHOSEN each other. Maintaining a friendship is so important for mental health but also knowing when to call it quits with your “bff” from high school or college is essential. Invest in a friend who invests equally in you.


An astonishing amount of people will try to spend their lives coasting on the potential they had as kids/teenagers/young adults.

‘Potential’ is toxic, once you get past a certain point. It lets you forgive yourself for not actually turning up and putting the hard yards in, because you know you could, so why actually bother? That’s why novels go unwritten and canvases remain blank.


I’m really not very old, but I have been younger than I am now, and something I wish I hadn’t done was inadvertently train myself to be a very low effort, poor work ethic sort of person when I was a kid. I blew a lot of opportunities by putting the minimum amount of effort necessary to get everyone off my back, and now I legitimately have a hard time doing anything I don’t want to do.

On a systemic level.

Addictive personality, poor willpower, and a slacker’s attitude exacerbated by depressive spells that eat up a large portion of the free time I have.


My parents aren’t really perfect and made a lot of mistakes


Realizing this was very freeing and a little sad for me. I have a strong relationship with my parents and I’ve always looked up to both of them. Realizing they made mistakes made me view them objectively. I consciously decire which part of their lives I want to emulate and which parts I will not, instead of blindly following their advice. The sad part is knowing they’re not perfect and their advice/suggestions won’t always solve my problems. I kind of miss the safety net from childhood where if I had a problem, my parents can always fix it…


As the phrase goes, “A child becomes a teenager when they realize adults aren’t perfect; a teenager becomes an adult when they forgive them.”


People will believe anything. Rumors are easy to spread because people don’t think for themselves and will not often fact check.


97% of the things I used to care about don’t actually matter.


Some people are awful, for no reason, and nothing you do can change that.


Sometimes I’m the asshole.


Drugs do cause damage you can’t fix even after you get clean.


Time goes quicker as you get older, but you can easily make time go slower by getting a bad haircut.


I’m 76. I have only learned two things, so far, that appear to be worthwhile sharing. “Trust in your own intelligence”, and “Be kind to yourself.”


I am getting older but I will never grow up. The idea of an adult from when I was young is unattainable, it’s a myth.

**Since it seems popular I decided to throw in few cents. When I was a kid I always saw grown ups as completely separate entities. They were commanding, composed, responsible and aware of the situation. I was counting days till I become so well balanced myself. As the time passed I’d realised that all I saw was them trying to set a good example and be responsible. Deep down they were as much irresponsible as the rest of us…


People who talk more and have more confidence (regardless of ability) will always do better in their careers than people who are actually really good at their job.


You really need to be doing the things that make you happy.

I’ve been seeking jobs my whole life for the sole purpose of surviving. The older I get, the more I realize I need to be chasing and honoring the things that make me happy. I always thought there would be other time for me to do the things that make me happy but, that time is now. I’ve been waiting for a time that, it turns out, has always been now.


Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. You can wish and want and try so hard, but sometimes you just don’t get what you want.


Whatever you do, don’t tell anyone.

Wait until you have achieve a desirable results


Common sense is a super power


Taste in art/music/design/food etc… started to become a whole lot less important to me. I used to say that I couldn’t date a person who had bad taste in music. Ya know what? That’s so self-limiting that you’re just doing yourself a disservice. Now I’m married to an immigrant and most of the music she loves I’ve never even heard before! So who am I to judge?

In the end, it’s all the seemingly boring shit that tends to rise to the top. Kindness, love, honesty, commitment… When I’ve been burned hard by people enough times, character starts to become increasingly more important in how I choose the people I want to surround myself with.


Consumerism = generalized discontent. This affects EVERYONE. The best way to cheat the system is to learn how to be content with what you have. It is a rare, subversive gift, but if you find it, you’ll be happy.


Petr Knava lives in London and plays music

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.